The Department of Critical Care Medicine is committed to excellence in research to achieve the best possible patient outcomes. The Research Executive Committee oversees all research activities. The Department employs 3 full time research coordinators. The Research Executive Committee organizes an annual Research Day sponsored by the The Calvin, Phoebe and Joan Snyder Chair in Critical Care Research. Grant support is strong with members receiving support from the Canadian Institute of Health Research, Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, National Institutes of Health, Canadian Foundation for Innovation, Alberta Science and Research Investments Program, Canadian Intensive Care Foundation, University of Calgary, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Canadian Intensive Care Foundation, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of Canada, Health Quality Council of Alberta , and other partners including industry.
Major ongoing projects include:
The Alberta Sepsis Network, funded through a five million dollar Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR) Interdisciplinary Team Grant, continued in 2010. With the leadership of Dr Paul Kubes and Dr Chip Doig, the Alberta Sepsis Network brings together 25 researchers, including immune experts, microbiologists, biochemists, infectious disease physicians, and intensive care physicians, at the University of Calgary, University of Alberta, University of Lethbridge, and University of Toronto with the ultimate goal to improve the health of patients with sepsis.
The Translational Laboratory in Critical Care Medicine, under the direction of Dr Paul Kubes, continues to produce important collaborations bringing clinicians and basic scientists closer together. In 2010, this partnership supported the Alberta Sepsis Network and a study of intraventricular tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) in the management of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, a study led by DCCM member Dr Andreas Kramer. In addition, the translational laboratory is continues to support a study of matrix metalloproteinase and cytokine expression in traumatic brain injury.
The Academic Neurocritical Care program has developed under the leadership of Dr David Zygun who is investigating the role of matrix metalloproteinases and neuroinflammation in patients with severe traumatic brain injury. In addition, he is the PI for an investigator led, sponsor supported trial of a new pharmaceutical treatment for patients with severe traumatic brain injury. Dr. Kramer is investigating the role of intraventricular fibrinolytic in patient with subarachnoid hemorrhage. He also is undertaking a program of research aimed at determining the benefit of continuous EEG in patients with brain injury in the ICU.
Members of the DCCM play an active role in the Canadian Critical Care Trials Group (CCCTG), a group involved in the design and implementation of clinical trials across Canada. Dr Tom Stelfox is the Adult Intensivist Representative on the board of directors of this internationally recognized trials group. This has involved participation in multi-centre studies of a study of the effect of age of blood for transfusion in critical care (lead locally by Dr Andreas Kramer), and survival of 80+ year olds admitted to intensive care units (lead by Dr Tom Stelfox). DCCM members continue to play a critical role in the operation of the Canadian Critical Care Translational Biology Group (CCCTBG), a group led by Dr Brent Winston and designed to embark on inter-centre basic science projects that will allow unparalleled cooperation between centres for basic science research in Critical Care.